ADU Cost Breakdown Simplified


There are a lot of costs associated with building an ADU. That is why we have simplified the ADU cost breakdown to make it easier for you to understand.

Design And Planning

The design and planning stage encompasses quite a few aspects, but they can all be grouped under this umbrella term. This category includes things like:

  • Land surveys
  • Engineer calculations
  • Energy calculations
  • Architectural drawings

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Anything that needs to be done in order to design the ADU itself or plan for its building falls under this category. By putting all of these different aspects under one category, you can get a better idea of how much your total cost will be. The average cost of ADU design and planning is between $6,000 and $14,000. Where you fall on this scale is dependent on the difficulty of your design and how easily your ADU can be built.

City Fees

City fees are their own section of a cost breakdown. This category includes things like:

  • Utility fees
  • Plan check
  • Impact fees – for certain sizes
  • Building permit

Fees will vary from city to city but are usually around $3,000 to $11,000.

Construction Labor And Material Costs

Everything required to actually build the ADU falls under this category. So, the contractor that you hire will play an important role in how much this category costs you. ADU construction estimates are heavily based on the cost of your contractor, their connections, and the quality of the materials you choose.

If you hire a good, local contractor, they may be able to help you find good deals on materials with local suppliers they often work with. They can also advise you on how to save money on your project with certain materials that may not need to be as nice as you originally chose them to be.

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Finish Materials

The final category is finish materials. This includes:

  • Flooring
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Cabinetry
  • Tile
  • Stone

Your tastes will greatly impact this category. If you are willing to compromise on design, you can save quite a bit of money here. Finish materials cost anywhere from $50.00 to $75.00 per square foot.